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Release: Oct. 22, 1999

Mezzo-soprano Eberle to be featured soloist in concert with UI Symphony Band

IOWA CITY, Iowa -- Mezzo-soprano Katherine Eberle, singing music inspired by popular folk song recordings of the 1960s, will be the featured soloist for a concert by the University of Iowa Chamber Wind Ensemble and Symphony Band at 8 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 3 in Clapp Recital Hall on the UI campus.

The performance, which will be free and open to the public, will be conducted by Myron Welch, director of bands at the UI School of Music.

Eberle will be featured in Bernard Gilmore’s "Four Folk Songs for Soprano and Band." Other works on the program will be Samuel Barber’s "Commando March"; the Adagio of Joaquin Rodrigo; Aaron Copland’s Suite from "The Red Pony"; and an arrangement for band of Paul Hindemith’s "Symphonic Metamorphosis of Themes by Carl Maria von Weber."

The first major work written for soprano and band, Gilmore’s "Four Folk Songs" was selected "Best Original Composition" at the College Band Directors National Association Biennial Conference in 1967. According to the composer, the score was inspired by the popular recordings of folk music made by Theodore Bikel, the Limelighters, and other popular groups of the 1960s. Each of the four songs in Gilmore’s score is derived from an individual culture and is written in its native language. The four songs and their respective cultures are "Mrs. McGrath," Irish; "Yerakina," Greek; "El Burro," Spanish; and "The Fiddler," Yiddish.

Samuel Barber was one of the most successful American composers of the 20th century. His music has been played and sung by leading performers throughout the United States and around the world. His Adagio for Strings remains one of the most popular concert pieces written by an American, and his opera "Vanessa" was premiered at the Metropolitan Opera. Barber wrote the "Commando March" in 1943, while he was assigned to the Army Air Force Band in Washington, D.C. An effective and highly descriptive work, it is his only piece for military band.

Copland wrote the music for the film "The Red Pony" in 1948, on the studio of Republic Pictures in the San Fernando Valley of California. Later the same year he completed a concert suite, which was premiered by the Houston Symphony. In 1966 the composer arranged that orchestral suite in turn for concert band, selecting four movements most suitable for transcription.

The film was based on a story of the same title by John Steinbeck, about a 10-year-old boy growing up on a California ranch. The four sections of the band suite reflect four separate episodes in the story and the film: "Dream March and Circus Music," "Walk to the Bunkhouse," "Grandfather’s Story" and "Happy Ending."

In 1943 Paul Hindemith was teaching at Yale University, having fled Nazi Germany several years earlier. It was at this time that he wrote an orchestral score based on four pieces by the early 19th-century composer Carl Maria von Weber. The outgrowth of an abandoned ballet, the "Symphonic Metamorphosis" is at the same time a series of variations and developments of Weber’s themes, and loosely organized around the traditional model of the four-movement symphony.

Hindemith, who wrote a Symphony for Concert Band in 1951, also planned a version of the "Symphonic Metamorphosis" for winds. He never pursued it, but he asked his colleague and close friend, Yale band director Keith Wilson, to make a band transcription. Wilson finally received permission for the band arrangement from Hindemith’s publisher in 1960.

A native of Akron, Ohio, Eberle has performed internationally in opera, concert and solo recitals. The Atlanta Constitution wrote, "Katherine Eberle was a standout. More than any other performer, she showed what it takes for a solo performer to command the stage."

She has performed with the opera theater of Lille, France, the Academy of the West, the Carmel Bach Festival, the Aspen Festival Opera Theatre, the American Institute of Music Studies in Graz, Austria, and at the Mozarteum in Salzburg.

Her solo compact disc of songs of women composers, "From a Woman’s Perspective," has been issued by Albany Records on the Vienna Modern Masters Label. She was also soloist on a CD of the Mozart "Requiem" released by the Interlochen Center for the Arts.

Eberle made her New York debut at Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall in 1993. In 1994 and ‘95 she toured as a musical ambassador for the United States Information Agency, performing in South America and Korea. She has won awards from the National Association of Teachers of Singing, the National Federation of Music Clubs, the Bel Canto Foundation and the Ann Arbor Friends of Opera. During the academic year she is on the faculty of the UI School of Music, and for seven summers she taught at the Interlochen Arts Camp in Michigan.

Welch has been director of bands at the UI since 1980. In addition to conducting the Symphony Band and Chamber Wind Ensemble, Welch teaches courses in instrumental methods and conducting and is coordinator of the Iowa Honor Band. Prior to joining the UI faculty he was director of bands and coordinator of music education at Wright State University in Dayton, Ohio. He has bachelor’s and master’s degrees in music from Michigan State University and a doctorate in music education from the University of Illinois.

Welch is past president of the American Bandmasters Association, the Big 10 Band Directors Association and the Iowa Bandmasters Association. He is a frequent guest conductor, adjudicator and clinician with bands throughout the Midwest.

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